Round Table Discussions for
REACH OUT TO YOUR TOWN MODERATOR ASKING THEM TO COMMIT TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE'S VOTES BY SUPPORTING VERIFICATION HAND COUNTS OF ELECTRONIC DEVICE-COUNTED BALLOTS.
This legislative session, NHCRN helped educate legislators on HB1582, the Trust But Verify bill, which would have provided an opportunity for moderators to assure both themselves and voters of the accuracy of their town's electronic ballot counts. HB1582 proposed to clarify moderators' authority to randomly and openly conduct a verification count of electronic ballot-counting devices--after polls close, but prior to attesting to the accuracy of the vote--thereby giving them a method to comply with the duties they take an oath to uphold in both Part 2, Art. 32 of NH's Constitution and in state law.
The NH Secretary of State opposed this measure saying it would lead to a lack of confidence in the voting systems used in the Granite State.
This is your opportunity to educate your town Moderator with the TRUST BUT VERIFY FAQ
The Secretary of State is now requesting input on our elections. He has set up a number of Round Table discussions for Town Moderators.
One of the questions proposed for discussion is:
"We would like to hear your viewpoint on attempts to require hand counts of certain races on the ballot after the polls close on election night. Do you feel there is a need for such a check on these machines?"
Conctact your Town Moderators, educate them on why a verification hand count is needed, and ask them to speak out for it at their Round Table. Educate your town Moderator with the TRUST BUT VERIFY FAQ.
ROUND TABLES WILL BE HELD ON
FROM ONE MODERATOR TO ANOTHER...
I am the Town Moderator of Derry. I’m writing to give you some background on a question posed by the Secretary of State in an email to Moderators dated June 1. The Secretary asked for our viewpoint on requiring hand counts of certain races on the ballot after the polls close on election night. I believe he is referring to HB 1582. This bill allowed but did NOT require moderators to verify the machine count after an election. If the moderator decided to do so, the bill outlined a process for doing so. Please read the full bill for further background.
I am very concerned that the Accu-vote program we use, in fact, any software can be hacked by a determined and patient hacker. I am not alone in this conclusion. Over 100 cybersecurity and computer programming experts have testified to the vulnerability of these ballot counting devices to malfunction or tampering even when the voting machine is physically disconnected from the internet. Earlier this year, the U.S. Congress allocated millions of dollars to be distributed among the states to upgrade to a paper ballot system AND to develop a means of auditing the elections results.
But HB 1582 was not designed to require a post-election audit. It’s primary purpose was to restore to moderators the authority which I believe is plainly stated in statute to verify the accuracy of the count. Doing selected hand counts has been used by several moderators over the years when they wanted a check on the machine results. Until September 2016, the Election Procedures Manual (EPM) stated: “Moderators may use their discretion as to whether or not they will conduct such a (verification) count on election night.” (pg 40 2014-2015 EPM). This sentence was removed without any explanation in the 2016-17 EPM distributed in October, 2016.
Whether you trust the machine count or not, I hope you will support the right of town moderators, at their discretion, to verify the machine count before certifying the final results. In the final analysis, this is a local control issue. Over the past several years, the SoS has been chipping away at the authority moderators to conduct elections in their own district. This is just one more chip. If for any reason you were not sure of a vote results, wouldn’t you like the authority to publicly recount the votes without having to get permission from the SoS?
Please join me in asking the Secretary to restore the instructions allowing moderators, at their own discretion, to assure both themselves and voters of the accuracy of their town's electronic ballot counts.
By the way, in September, 2016, I conducted a verification count similar to the one described in HB 1582. I brought in 4 fresh teams of counters and completed the task in less than one hour, using ballots from one of the 6 machines we use in Derry. Of course, I was roundly reprimanded by the Secretary for doing so.
Mary Till, former NH State Representative & current Moderator for Derry, NH
It's time to stand up for voting audits, by Gerhard Bedding